Wrathful or ridiculous?

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What do you think about when you see someone in Buddhist robes? Me, what immediately comes to mind is respect (of course, your reaction may be “why are these men wearing dresses?”). The robes say to me that this is someone who is totally committed to living according to Buddha’s teachings. This is a person who is willing to forgo a lot of worldly pleasures in order to dedicate their lives to enlightenment. No matter what their faults may be, I had to give them mad props for their dedication.

As I have written about previously, the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT), a group with whom that was a huge part of my life for 10 years, is out dogging the Dalai Lama at series of speaking engagements. The NKT (under the guise of the Western Shugden Society (WSS)) is trying to bring to the media’s attention the plight of practitioners of the practice of Dorje Shugden. If you read the comments section of my previous post, you can see that it is a very controversial and heated topic. Me, I’m sitting squarely on the fence about the larger issue. However, I do not agree whatsoever with the strategy of the protests and the language being used.

On the website of the WSS, they proudly display pictures of the protests with a sea of maroon and yellow robes – monks and nuns holding signs calling the Dalai Lama and liar and pumping their fists in the air chanting. They are not chanting OM MANE PADME HUM or OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASOMGATE BODHI SOHA, chants of compassion and wisdom, but rather “Dalai Lama stop lying”. In this sea of shaven head monks and nuns I see familiar faces. There is Gen-la Dekyong. I used to love her teachings. Her lovely Irish lilt and her humor really enhanced the inspiring teachings she gave. But, now, featured in photograph after photograph shouting, pumping her fist in the air, she appears ugly, angry and haggard. And there is a former teacher of mine, bullhorn in hand. Seeing him didn’t surprise me too much. He always had that warrior type of energy. My sense is that he probably found the protest to be great fun – an outlet for all that testosterone that he has to keep bottled up.

But there was one photograph amidst the dozens that hit me in the gut. There was my last teacher in the NKT. That was the relationship that pushed me to the edge and ultimately out of the organization. As has already been documented, we had a pretty turbulent relationship. Yet, I cared about her a lot. I put up with a lot of her personal weaknesses out of respect and love. She always struck me as frail, both physically and mentally. I knew her dark secrets and cut her some slack because of them.

Yet, there she was, with her fist in the air like the rest of them. It hit me in the gut. And I don’t even know why. Maybe it’s like seeing a picture of an old boyfriend with their new girlfriend. It’s not like you want them back, but it still smarts a bit to see how they have moved on. Who knows what I expected from her. I know to disagree with the protests can get even the most experienced and faithful teacher sent into exile. But, I guess I didn’t expect her to make the extra effort to show up in London for the protest. I just feel so disappointed in her. She would say these are wrathful actions. I say they are ridiculous.

The sight of dozens of ordained monks and nuns used to be so inspiring. Seeing the lot of them at festivals, seeing their gentleness, their faith and their dedication would help me aspire to practice the teachings and acquire those traits for myself. I don’t see that now.

It’s a bit of a loss, really. But, I guess no one ever said stripping away every illusion wouldn’t be painful.

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131 responses »

  1. so how do you feel about the monks protesting in Burma and Tibet? I think we need to understand that all beings are multidemensional and may not allways fit neatly into the preconceived order we cling to. If you rely on the behaviour of others to dictate your own behaviour and don’t develop your own self determination you are in for a rocky ride in this confusing and unfindable illusion (samsara) I suggest you try and develop and maintain respect and love for all others and be careful who you put on a pedestal and how you deal with them once you put thre there. your image of what an ordained person is like everything else your own mental construction, in effect you are disapointing yourself when they do not meet your exacting standards.

    Likewize your experience of the NKT is your experience it is not some generic standard experience. It is dictated by your karma and your preconceptions and predispositions. I think that members of the NKT have no choice but to demonstrate on this issue as the Dalai Lama refuses to address it, The NKT itself does not demonstrate but its members do if they choose to, The NKT has ordained sanga whether anyone agrees they are proper monks and nuns is their own buisiness. If you cannot respect people in robes protesting maybe you can develop some respect for people in robes being denied access to basic resourses and being persecuted by the Tibetan govt in exile, or at the very least develop some understanding as to how this might concern some people in other countries.

  2. I guess I think the same when I see people in Buddhist robes as I do when I see Catholic monks and nuns in their habits etc. I think “I cannot imagine why a person would do that with their life and why a god would want it”.

    But that’s me.

  3. Yeah

    Perhaps surprisingly, I’m closer to your position on this than I thought I’d be. Interestingly, it was your blog on your teacher (and the similarity of my experience) that brought me into your blog some six months back. And coincidentally, my ex-teacher will be flying into Sydney from New Zealand to join the protests in Sydney. How odd!

    I won’t be participating. At some point next week I will take a break from attending my centre until protest activity there stops. I’m not into this at all, but there is pressure to participate.

    Oh well, let’s see if they continue to tolerate my very very non-commital presence there.

  4. why didn’t the skeleton cross the road?
    because he didn’t have the guts

    if you got the guts ~ we got the monks
    but nun of the above wins every election

    maybe it hurtz because it does cuz if it didn’t then how would we ever know what we r feelin?

    the best conclusion is that itz inconclusive

    even tho it takes guts to admit how we feel we r batter off if we still leave room for new questions ~ ? ~ you can lookitup = eye did – in my gut – anit still hurts

  5. Long time reader, first time writer…
    I dragged myself away from a kadampa centre after studying and practising for 1 year. It has felt like a physical tearing being separated from great friends and wonderful teachers and yet, I have experienced such wonder and inspiration from other teachers since leaving. I would love to still be able to go to the kmc centre, the pull is very strong, however the push to stay away is stronger. I too was so very disappointed to see my former teacher, showing a black face, in the protests. Thank you Lazy Buddhist for writing about your experience and thoughts. 99% of the time i have no worries about leaving, it’s the 1% of the time that is tough & your blog is a place for me to not worry so much about the 1 per centers.

    Thanks again.

  6. Shu – Yup. And the less we have the happier we are.

    Truce – I’m afraid these days when people see a Catholic priest the reaction is usually “hide the children!”. (sorry) Anyway, unfortunately we never can see someone’s intention for donning robes. For some its an escape, maybe for some status, and for others, and these are the ones I admire, it’s a way of adopting a way of life that is more conducive to their spiritual quest. So, the robes in and of themselves have no meaning except for a visual cue of their aspirations.

    phelim – I think you make some valid points, however, I beg to differ with the following:

    You say the NKT “has no choice” but to protest. That’s nonsense. They have chosen to not deal with the issue for the last 9 years. And now they are choosing to get involved again. I question the timing of these protests. Right now, because of the Bejing Olympics and the recent uprisings in Tibet, the Dalai Lama has the world’s, and even China’s attention. To stage the DS protests at this time looks like an effort to discredit him in the world’s eyes, lessening his effectiveness in his dealings with the Chinese about Tibet. So, where is the priority? The basic human rights of all Tibetans or protecting the rights of the Shugdenites in the Tibetan exile communities? Where is the greater good?

    I also strongly disagree with methods employed, and the lack of honesty being displayed. Yes, for all legal, PR and financial purposes the WSS is not the NKT. But, let’s get real. At least one very senior teacher has been removed because she did not fall into line about the protests. Also, the spin that Pema is giving the press about DS practice being “a simple prayer, much like the lord’s prayer?” I don’t what version of DS practice she is doing, but I seem to recall it being a good hour, hour and a half puja.

    If the NKT truly wanted to do these protests with a pure motivation, with no antipathy towards the Dalai Lama, perhaps it would have been more effective if they simply came out en mass and meditated, prayed and chanted mantras. That was the advice that Geshe-la gave re: politics at the Fall US 2006 Festival – our job as Buddhists is not get involved in politics, our job is to pray. I include both the Shugdenites and the Dalai Lama in my prayers, as well as the people of Tibet and China. It’s a sticky, complex and samsaric situation and that’s the best I can do.

    Ron – I admire your wisdom in just backing off until it blows over. I hope there are no negative repurcussions for you.

    Marshmellows – you know I love you, dude, but half the time I have no freakin’ idea what you’re writing about. I feel pretty strongly about the protests, and I should watch myself so that I don’t veer into the same sort of self-righteous stance that I criticize. As for the bigger issue – who the freak knows.

    Nik – Welcome! I love it when longtime readers make themselves known. Yeah, it can be tough leaving, particularly if you have developed good friends there and have good relationships with the teachers. But, we know in our gut that we did the right thing. There is a world of wonderful teachers out there and other practitioners.

    I’m glad you find my blog of some benefit. That makes me truly happy. 🙂 Take care.

  7. A friend of mine tells a story about suddenly having an urge to be enlightened, and flying to Thailand to find a zen master.

    A friend of hers who lived in Bangkok met her at the airport there. She explained they didn’t have much in the way of zen, but that she could take my friend to a Buddhist temple.

    “Let’s go,” my friend said, and they went — straight from the airport, if I understand the story correctly — to a large and very old Buddhist temple.

    It was surrounded by a high fence, with a gate and a gatehouse at the entrance. They stopped the car at the gate and went to the gatehouse to check in.

    In the gatehouse they found four monks in their saffron robes, kicked back in chairs, smoking cigarettes and watching TV.

    ‘The Brady Bunch’ was on.

    My friend turned around, went back to the airport, and took the next flight she could get back to the states.

    I don’t know what the moral of that story is, or if it has a moral.

    But there it is.

  8. “So, where is the priority? The basic human rights of all Tibetans or protecting the rights of the Shugdenites in the Tibetan exile communities? Where is the greater good?”

    sounds a bit similar to the rationalle that eventually led to the extinction of 6 million of another religious minority in another country not all that long ago

  9. “In the gatehouse they found four monks in their saffron robes, kicked back in chairs, smoking cigarettes and watching TV.”

    i wanna meat theze guyz!~

    btw = the DL is a holy man – no wait – the DL is a mere mortal = 2 2 2 monks in one!

    wait wait i think i missed the point ~ its layin around here sumwears ~ lets look in the oven.

    really? no? how about deep in my heart = so messy in there you could lose anything.

    we (and I do speak for all sentient beings here) have a problem – itz called the survival instinct. If sum thin threatens that then it don’t madder ifin its Jesus or Moses or Shugden or the Brady Bunch ~ they gowin down.

    we knows a hellova lot less about whats gowin on in this matter then what we nose so when things get clogged up we gotta blow ~ maybe no more wisdom but ya can sure breathe a whole lot batter.

    as fur the holocaust ~ well watts you sayin is just about the ration ale = not about the deeper causes which you kin refer to the above.

    We could have the DL over for dinner ~ or just killem an eatem = itid be just a sack-o-meat either way. Now as fur as them spirits goes . . . . .

    LB ~ if you find yourself veering “into the same sort of self-righteous stance that I criticize” just remember to check your mirrors first and use a turn signal.

  10. McCarp & Stevo – Actually, I like my monks and nuns to be quite human – the more human the better. One of my favorite experiences with an ordained person was the evening I hung out with a very senior, very respected NKT monk and my good friend and his partner. Rarely have I ever had better company watching American Idol than with two ‘mos and a monk. If you really got “it” there is no need to put on airs and act “spiritual”. So, McCarp, in the case of your friend, I probably would have pulled up a chair and dished some Brady Bunch with them. Sometimes it is in these mundane moments where you see how deeply their spirituality runs.

    phelim – The holocaust? Really? Really? Wow. But, thank you for making my point about the inflammatory language being used.

    Marshmellows – like many of your posts, all the causes and conditions that surround the the DS issue are beyond our comprehension. So, if you want to pull up a seat on the fence and don’t mind the sore crotch, you’re always welcome to straddle my fence.

  11. I’d straddle your fence any day baby! wait ~ what if there is no fence? then how’d eye git this soar crotch?

    “the causes and conditions that surround the the DS issue are beyond our comprehension.”

    yup thatid be me main poynt – butt – (stickin with the crotch medi four) if we just dont wanna be konstantly draggin our asses all up and down that fence then at sum point it kinda shudda awtta hafta o kur 2 us that we also got theze 2 legs witch means = these boots are made 4 wokin = and karma aint really a bitch = unless they means a female dog the size of the you-knee-verse, with an infinite number of titties = r ya red eye boots? start wokin

    (yeah I know that last part breaks the meter but aint that most-ov-da fun of fence sittin?)

  12. I never know what to do around people wearing robes – although I have in the past just been myself – because my illusion is that they are wearing robes to be closer to holiness, so I feel that when I’m in their presence I have to be as holy as is possible for me to be. Which is crap – but it’s an illusion that I’ve never been able to shake. I even have conversations with myself about it … but I guess that’s another post.

  13. Cranky ~ next time try reaching up their robs and see if you can find their ‘nobel prize’ = that should work

  14. Hi,

    My feelings: All this is very complicated of course. IF you remove Dorje Shugden from NKT/Gelug practice then the HYT system formulated by Pabongkha/Trijang no longer functions (Read the Dalai Lama’s talk at the second Gelug conference). You have to revert back to the original system which involves deep practice of three dieties and is much harder (no Vajrayogini), and not suited to anyone other than monastics or a time-rich elite. This is because Dorje Shugden is Guyusamaja in the newer system.

    There is no lineage of blessings for this old style of practice (as far as I can ascertain) – perhaps one or two Lamas, we have to consider how influencial Trijang was.

    For this reason, Geshe Kelsang and others (I don’t think Geshe Sopa belongs to the NKT by the way – see the Oxford protest video on the WSS site) are seeking to protect the lineage by loudly protesting the Dalai Lama. We have to face facts, they have received no response to any other method of communication. At least they are getting giggles and throat sweets out of him now, which is progress I think.

    Is the lineage of blessings more precious than the Human Rights of the people of Tibet? I don’t know, all I do know is that Geshela said he would be prepared to give his life for it. And he is certainly putting his entire life’s work on the line for a second time.

  15. Cranky – I was pretty lucky in that my first acquaintance in robes turned out to be a very personable, charming fellow. I soon realized that under those robes (and no, there wasn’t a nobel prize – bad marshmellows!) is just another traveler along the path. They are just a bit more focused and determined than I am.

    fadeout – thank you for your thoughtful response. You make an interesting point about Vajrayogini. Something to think about.

    Also, I have no doubt that Geshe-la feels very, very strongly about this. But, I wonder what purpose will be served if the reputation of the NKT is so tarnished that it can no longer sustain itself. Then there will be no DS practice in either the East or the West. Is the approach that is being taken worth that gamble?

    Marshmellows – So, when the time comes, if it hasn’t already, for you to read that email “encouraging” your students to travel to PA for the summer protests, what will you do?

  16. probably hit them up for bus fare ~

    Is the approach that is being taken worth that gamble?

    Probably not but then life is fatal isn’t it? Hard to say its worth the gamble when the end is coming sooner or later anyways.

    For some raisin I suppose eye sea it all as part of a vast left/right wing conspiracy to blow the tar outta anything that aint the middle way buy forcing folks to take sides or sit on the fence = either way ya can’t hold down any of them positions for too long.

    sooner or ladder we gotta letgo ~ or just crap our pants?

  17. “To Everyone, To You”

    To everyone, to you,
    silent beings of the night
    who took my hand in the darkness, to you,
    lamps,
    of immortal light, star lines,
    bread of the living, secret brothers,
    to everyone, to you,
    I say: there’s no thanks,
    nothing could fill the glasses
    of purity,
    nothing can
    contain all of the sun in the flags
    of the invincible springtime
    like your quiet dignities.
    Only
    I’m thinking
    maybe I’ve been worthy of so much
    simplicity, of a flower so pure,
    maybe I’m you, that’s right,
    that essence, flower and song of earth,
    that natural kneading that knows
    where it comes from and where it belongs.
    I’m no distant bell
    or a crystal buried so deep
    you can’t figure it out, I’m just
    people, hidden door, dark bread
    and when you receive me you receive yourself
    in your very self, in that guest beaten so many times
    and so many times
    reborn.
    To all and everyone,
    to all I don’t know, who’ll never
    hear this name, to those who live
    along our long rivers,
    at the foot of volcanoes, in the sulphuric
    copper shadow, to fishermen and peasants,
    to blue indians on the shore
    of lakes sparkling like glass,
    to the shoemaker who at this moment questions,
    nailing leather with ancient hands,
    to you, to whomever without knowing it has waited for me,
    I belong and recognize and sing.

    –Pablo Neruda, translated by Jack Hirschman, from The Essential Neruda, (c) 2004 City Lights

  18. Is this the same Tenzin whose avowed agenda is to destroy the NKT and Dorje Shugden practice?! The holier than thou monk who is so obsessed with his hatred of the NKT that he posts on every blog and dedicates several websites to slandering it? Of course it is. His animosity fills the internet and probably makes up 80% of the bad things said about the NKT. Maybe more. Thank you Tenzin Peljor, Tashi, Michael, Michael Jackel, kt66 etc but I think we have all heard it all, many times over. When are you going to get on with your FPMT Geshe studies, stop your unhealthy obsession with your old tradition, and leave everyone in peace?

  19. eye git so korn fused ~ i thawt TenZin was a winery co-op in Napa hmmmm . . . maybe that was FourCabs = itz bin a while since I wuz in Manhattan ~ but speaking of mass transit seams like theyz not end to the fun and cuz of the interestnet weeze all gots wring size seats = dunt fourget to bring yer flamin swords = sorry LB gotta go ~ back 4 mo layder

  20. stop your unhealthy obsession with your old tradition, and leave everyone in peace?

    ~or~

    to the shoemaker who at this moment questions,
    nailing leather with ancient hands,
    to you, to whomever without knowing it has waited for me,
    I belong and recognize and sing.

    yer pick ~ watt sey u TenZin?

  21. Please note, I approved Dharmapal’s comment with much trepidation. However, it does demonstrate an ugly and paranoid side of the NKT that I feel it is important to be exposed. I do not agree with anything that “Dharmapal” of Tampa, FL has said. Tenzin, of all the NKT detractors, has come across, to me at least, as very kind and well armed with academic research, and is not deserving of the kind of anomosity that is being directed at him.

  22. Hi LB

    You are right.

    But Tenzin has also posted so much against the NKT it’s almost as if he’s dedicated his life to attacking the NKT. It seems like it’s his full-time job. It’s something I don’t understand. I’d be more ‘live and let live’, but some people seem incapable of doing that.

    Life is relative. No one has objective truth cornered, including Tenzin. So the fact that he is so convinced he’s right about the NKT that he devotes countless hours to undermining it in any way he can is worrying in the extreme.

    Fanatics are always dangerous. And Tenzin may speak reasonably, but his behaviour seems fanatical.

    And someone who spends so much time in attacking an organisation has to expect some kind of a backlash.

    For people like Tenzin, surely that’s just an occupational hazard?

  23. “well armed with academic research, and is not deserving of the kind of anomosity that is being directed at him.”

    wait a minute ~ aint this the very deaf finishun of animalosity?

    I’ve got sum well armed research for ya ~ try lovin all livin beans WITHOUT EXCEPTION n c how aka demonic dat iz = btw i have a family of wasps lookin fur a good home an eye dunt mean a bunch-o-honkies

  24. I got me wonna them NKT tractors too but with gas prices theze daze eye kant a ford to runit.

    guess itz back the bliss o regret fo me

  25. it is with a great tepid nation that i admit to having no idea what the neo conz wuz thinkin (project for a new american penitentiary?) and sew in matterz as subtitled as these it seams the poynt is knot to counter-point but to stop the pointing all together.

    now wears that fence we used to have here got to?

    won thingz for certain ~ everything is uncertain and sum things are certainly wrong but we cant even be too certain about that ~ oar kanwee? global warming anyone?

  26. Ron –

    You make some good points, my friend. Fanaticism is fanaticism no matter how it is packaged.

    I do not know much about Tenzin’s history besides what I have seen him post here and on the Survivors’ forums. In all those instances, he has come across as reasonable and well intentioned. Unlike some of the contributors to those forums, my sense is that he sincerely wishes to help people and not merely to slag the NKT. And from the feedback I have read on the forums, he has been helpful to people in dealing with what they perceive as the harm that has been done to them by the NKT.

    With all the words that are getting thrown about on both sides of the fence, I have started to rely somewhat on the tone of the communication. Is there any compassion, any kindness, any wisdom that I can discern? Or is it all just angry ranting? Perhaps I am judging the book by the cover, but I think the tone of any kind of communication is a better indicator of the mind behind the words than the mere words themselves.

    I have no doubt that both Dharmapal and Tenzin see their actions and their words as justified and coming from good intentions. My guess is that Dharmapal is seeing herself these days as Dorje Shugden his/herself – showing a wrathful expression to the “enemies” of the “pure dharma”. Every morning she probably grabs her sword and jumps on her snow lion and settles down at the computer to do battle, wrathfully lashing out at those who she perceives are out to destroy the pure dharma, yet showing a kind and loving expression to her fellow NKT practitioners.

    Yet no matter how pure an emanation we may think we are adopting (be it Tara, Vajrayogini or DS), the truth of the matter it is still just an appearance to our deluded, Western 21st century human mind. You see may see a holy dharma protector, while others see a demon, and yet others see a fictional, perhaps allegorical, character born from a spiritually rich, but superstitious culture.

    For myself, all this DS nonsense is just driving me to look inward. When my butt is on the cushion, DS or the lack of DS, has nothing to do with my meditation or search for the ultimate truth. When I read and study Buddha’s teachings, again, DS or lack of DS, does not appear to my mind. And I think I shall keep it that way.

    Mr. Mellow Kangaroos eating Monkee Marshmellows – good advice – let’s trying loving all living beings, without exception. And that means, everyone, stop flinging the poo! Basically everything we think we know is wrong, and isn’t that something to celebrate!

  27. Yes, I’m with you on keeping DS or the lack of DS out of my practice too. On Tenzin, I don’t really know him either. But he’s been a pretty big subject recently on the Kadampa Chat forum and that’s a bit of an eye opener. Tenzin certainly seems to be a busy, productive and highly-effective member of the anti-NKT establishment, and has been for years, though not always under one name. It seems he’s single-handedly been keeping the wikipedia entry on the NKT more “balanced” for years. Turns out you only need 1 antagonist with the inexhaustible energy of a Tenzin to do real damage to an organisation. I do recognise Tenzin as Tashi on eSangha and he is certainly a virulent critic of “the NKT cult” (as he calls it). At the end of the day, surely the person doing the attacking is the aggressor? Anyway, we do all need to behave ourselves, and Tenzin does do that, and Dharmapal should. So on that we agree. Certainly, one of the good things about this blog is that people don’t fling insults at each other the way the do on other forums.

  28. seams to me something more important is gowing on besides the obvious disagreement and or if you see evil or goodness in any personage. Just maybe (perhaps) possibly we’ve bean givin a gift no madder which fence we are on the side of depending upon the nature of our in tension re gardless of packaging or protocol?

    or maybe we is all full-o-crap and needs a good squeezin = seams to werk eyether way

  29. eye sey ~ there is nothing certain about anything anywhere and we can be certain about that.

  30. Hi fadeout32

    You said,”My feelings: All this is very complicated of course. IF you remove Dorje Shugden from NKT/Gelug practice then the HYT system formulated by Pabongkha/Trijang no longer functions (Read the Dalai Lama’s talk at the second Gelug conference). You have to revert back to the original system which involves deep practice of three dieties and is much harder (no Vajrayogini), and not suited to anyone other than monastics or a time-rich elite. This is because Dorje Shugden is Guyusamaja in the newer system.

    There is no lineage of blessings for this old style of practice (as far as I can ascertain) – perhaps one or two Lamas, we have to consider how influencial Trijang was.”

    It’s a genuine and practical concern. But we don’t practice dharma just because it’s convenient.

    Reverting to the traditional practice as you mentioned is certainly one option.

    And the lineage is there, just have to look.

  31. even a blind squirrel will find an acorn now and agin ~ hairs mine:

    “Basically everything we think we know is wrong, and isn’t that something to celebrate!”

  32. Gosh this forum is a breath of fresh air!

    I am a happy, devoted NKT practitioner and have been for many years. Of course I have different opinions than some of the people who post here, but I love that people try to disagree with *respect* and that Mr. Marshmellow-Monkees always brings us back down to earth with their witticisms when things start to get too heated.

    Surely it’s not too hard, as Buddhists, for us to just live and let live, as someone else said? Much else is no doubt a distraction from our practice.

    May everyone on all sides of this issues overcome their pride and self-grasping as quickly as possible…

    …or again to quote Rodney King, “Why can’t we all just get along?”

  33. yup ~ but then it kud be the end timez two sew maybe weed all better light up and catch the last few episodes of the brady bunch b4 itz 2 late

    eye aint proud-o-my self grasping neither but it might be a harmless pass-time so long as eye keep my grasping to my self

    itz a tricky bizness anyway you slice it tho ~ as eye remember rod knee took a few blows too eh?

  34. Yeah, you’re right — ol’ Rodney did take a few blows.

    I hope we can be bigger than that… otherwise we may as well drop any pretense of the word “Buddhist”.

    May everyone live in harmony, and practice whatever spiritual tradition is right for their karmic inclinations, without prejudice or ostracization.

  35. Welcome HappyNKTer – I’m glad you appreciate my little blog. And perhaps that is the difference between the discussion here and the discussion on other boards – I can set the ground rules and the biggest one is R.E.S.P.E.C.T (sock it to me, sock it to me). So, if someone doesn’t want to play by those rules, they are welcome to play elsewhere. Though, I am happy to say while I have edited one redundant post, and have issued a “play nice” warning or two, I have never had to completely not let a post in.

    I cannot, however, take any credit on the current discussion on my post Dirty Laundry. I feel like the hostess who has gone to bed after her party, yet there are still some guests who are chatting away in another room. As long as they don’t get too rowdy and fisticuffs don’t break out, I’m happy to let them be. Ron and Shaza have been having the kind of very intelligent and respectful discussion on DS that I have no seen anywhere else. So, I’ll keep some beer in the fridge for them and a few bags of chips (or crisps) in the cupboard, and they’re welcome to hang out as long as they like.

    And yes, Mr. Mellow Kangaroo eating Monkey Marshmellows always adds a touch of surreal wisdom and a giggle.

  36. sew in on her of this partikular subject eye em mooooved to offer this bit of male bovine excrement = how about rath-full AND re-dick-u-luos (which btw is the new kool)

    woodja rather have pie in the sky or a pie in the face ~ an ifso witch won wood be more tan-trick?

  37. pie in the sky please ~ that way i wont have2 think2mush ~ bud-a-pie intheface izwaymore tantric tho

  38. Hi LazyBuddhist, things are not always what they seem. Sometimes you’ve got to shout to be heard and stand up to stop something precious from being destroyed but you can do so with a pure motivation, even though people think you are angry or simply wrong.

    I don’t know if you’ve seen this site:

    http://www.newkadampatruth.org

    I think it’s a very fair and balanced reply to all the critics. NKT admits that mistakes have been made but that they are trying to improve.

  39. Hi Truthsayer,

    Worshipping Shugden is the biggest mistake NKT ever made. The only way to improve is to abandon it completely.

    Stand up and shout for Buddhism for a change and channel all that indignation towards the mistaken practice even at the risk of disagreeing with your kind teacher.

    Now, that takes real courage.

    Best

    Shaza

  40. Shaza/Truthsayer

    There appears to be no resolution to this dispute.

    As a South African who grew up under Apartheid, I find it incredible and dismaying that the custodians of modern buddhadharma (that most remarkable set of transcendant teachings from two and a half thousand years ago) are unable to achieve what a bunch of ‘white despots’ and ‘terrorists’ achieved when they negotiated a peaceful settlement on the southern tip of Africa at the end of the last century.

    Shaza will blame Shugden, Truthsayer will probably blame the Dalai Lama. But it strikes me that the real smear here is on Tibetan Buddhism.

    Shaza, you’re right, no wonder Zen seems so attractive. Of course, it doesn’t offer a quick path to enlightenment.

    But, to common appearances at least, if this bullshit is anything to go by, neither do the Tibetans.

    I think they hand out Nobel Peace Prizes too easily. Having said that, it would seem that F W De Klerk, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu really deserved theirs.

  41. Hi Ron,

    I don’t think Shugden shall take all the blame for what we do. We can’t always plead insanity or possession for the crime we commit. When Pabongkha and Trijang were preaching their kind of Gelug fundamentalism, I am not certain whether they were blinded by Shugden, their own ambition or simply both.

    That part of the history ain’t so long ago. Why such mass amnesia?

    What we need to fight is our delusion and denial. As long as we don’t live up to that dirty past, the “ghost” is gonna haunt us time and again. What we need to fight is not Shugden per se but the myth of Shugden.

    Debunking it is part of the solution.

    If what Cheyenne said is true, GKG is most probably opting for a soft landing by admitting “some” faults in Shugden (ie Sok Te). Let’s see how we go from here.
    FMPT is probably not w/o their internal struggle given their connection to Trijang’s lineage but if they can do it, why shouldn’t NKT?

    Of course, I have Shugdenites telling me to bugger off and leave them “practice their devil” alone. Now, that’s not a bad start as long as they know the consequences of keeping a sectarian thug on a payroll.

    If I am in DL’s shoes, I might cut a deal with the thug and let him roam free. Who knows? But aren’t you glad that the DL does not in the least resemble the spineless creature that I am?

    Shugden ain’t small firecracker and defusing it isn’t exactly the kind of job you want. The responsibility to denounce Shugden naturally rests on DL’s shoulder because he is from Gelug. Any other H.H. doing the finger-pointing whether they are from Sakya, Kagyu or Nyingma would further complicate the issue as you can probably imagine.

    Best

    Shaza

  42. Hi Shaza

    I understand. But…

    1) Israel is not going to pull out of palestine;

    2) The price of petrol is not going to go down;

    3) Osama Bin Laden is not going to apologize for 9/11;

    4) The Irish are not going to start liking the English; and

    5) Shugdenites are not going to stop worshipping Shugden.

    These are simple certainties in life. There’s nothing anyone can do about these things. This is just the way things are.

    Ron

  43. Well, I am sure when Shugden loosen his grip on his worshippers, he will find something worthwhile to do like:

    1) convincing bin Laden to turn himself in,
    2) then the world is so overjoyed even the Irish and English start hugging on the streets,
    3) and the Palestinians and Israelis stop hating each other,
    4) the Arab league is so happy that they step up their oil production, reining in soaring gas prices
    5)and we live happily ever after

    Call it the butterfly effect of good karma.

    And yes we can!

    I am John McCain and I endorse this message.

  44. FMPT is probably not w/o their internal struggle given their connection to Trijang’s lineage but if they can do it, why shouldn’t NKT?

    differ rent fowks 4 difrent strokes ~ when shove cums to push ya need more than a bush

    Rove/Cheney ’08 = Keep the Magic Alive!

  45. I recommend reading Rene De Nebesky-Wojkowitz’ chapter on Shugden in ‘Oracles and Demons of Tibet’ for an insight into what the Shugden people’s PR agency press release calls a ‘mainstream practice’: all boiling blood and entrails etc. this so-called ‘wisdom buddha’ is some pretty dark stuff…about a 9.5 on the Weirdshitometer as they say.

  46. Why should anyone expect Dorje Shugden practitioners to give up their Protector practice? Why can’t everyone simply practice their religion in peace? Shugden practitioners have never put a ban on someone else’s religious practice and persecuted them for disobeying orders. See http://www.WisdomBuddhaDorjeShugden.blogspot.com for latest video of persecution of monks in India and the ugly mob mentality that erupted in NYC last Thursday. This is not Buddhist behaviour. And this is what Shugden practitioners are having to face all the time now.

  47. Hi Lyara

    DS practitioners should give up their protector practice because it is

    1) Dispensable.

    It’s a worldly spirit and NOT enlisted by Tshongkhapa or Padmasambhava or any other great masters as our protector. There are quite a handful of wisdom protectors to choose from in Gelug. Shugden is NOT one of them. Gelug history will tell you that;

    2) Harmful and Sectarian.

    This spirit is meant to punish and even kill Gelugpas who “mixed” practices. If you read the Life-Entrustment rite composed by Pabhongka and the Yellow Book as told by Trijang, published in the early 70’s, you will know.

    Shugden is harmful. You need to get out of the practice, sooner the better.

    Best

    Shaza

  48. yeah..the latest report was quite balanced..

    but it feels kind of fishy because when the article made a reference to the past protesters a decade ago, they are vaguely refered to as “Shugdenpas” and “the sect” without really naming the organizations (ie. NKT et al.)

    so cautious..

  49. chicken little didn’t throw in the towel right? majority rules ~ if it aint a duck then wise it still kwakin?

    eye no itz b-cuz eye kin see everything sew clearly and clearly things are what they seam aint they?

    a stich in thyme save nine but whoz counting?

  50. Hi all,

    This perpetual ping-pong match of “DS is a Buddha, no he’s not he’s a spirit, i say he’s a buddha, etc…” is making me wonder about the way things exist. I thought up a bit of a boring scenario but i think maybe it serves to convey my idea. Two old mates have an argument about wether an axe is a tool or a weapon. For weeks they both grasp strongly at their respective pov’s and as a result they can’t live in harmony. Then one sunny afternoon, over a cup of tea, they realize that the nature of the axe is simply what they make of it, that it’s tool-qualities and it’s weapon-qualities are merely imputed by mind. They resolve their conflict and thereafter live in peace even though for the sake of convention one carries on viewing the axe as a tool, whilst the other continues to view it as a weapon.

    Perhaps this is a bit simplistic, but then doesn’t reality always turn up to be a lot more simple than our convoluted elaborations?

    What do you lot think?

    Harry

  51. The view that Shugden is harmful comes from that fact that Gyalpo spirits, even very high one’s like Pehar, can and often do cause illnesses and problems. For example, even though Pehar is considered by some to be an emanation of Amitabha, nevertheless, he has to be reminded of his samayas. And in fact, Pehar caused problems for Sachen Kunga Nyingpo when he was 12 while undertaking a Manjushri retreat.

    This is one of the main points of contention– worldly protectors, even though considered to be emanations, are still considered to be worldly and not proper sources of refuge.

    For example, it is said in the Sutras that Buddhas can appears as Shiva, Indra, Brahmins and other worldly beings and so on to help beings. But is it ever ok to take refuge in Shiva, Indra, and so on? No, of course not, because these are worldly manifestations.

  52. bury the axe in the wall ~ make a cup tea ~ call everyone you know and tell them ‘this axe is for you’ ~ develop regret and meditate on great bliss

    if that dont werk then itz back to the brady bunch for me ~ or eye four got to remember what eye m sposed to forget

  53. Hi Harry

    It would be nice if it were just an ordinary axe.

    But to many, Shugden looks more like a ticking time bomb. Although i am sure a bomb will be of great use in some circumstances, but it’s nothing like our household appliances either.

    To further the analogy, Pabongkha and Trijang knew that it was a bomb and even set it up so it could blow up in the face of those who wronged the Gelug.

    Now GKG is telling people that this bomb is merely a microwave oven and it’s OK to keep it.

    So which imputation is closer to the fact?

    Best

    Shaza

  54. Hi Shaza,

    The facts appear to be manipulated from both sides. I think the imputations (from both sides) that are coming from a good intention, wisdom and understanding are probably closer to the truth.

    Harry

  55. Hi Harry,

    Alright.

    So btw Pabongkha/Trijang & GKG, which party do you think has more “wisdom and understanding” ?

    I give them the benefit of the doubt that all are well-intentioned, but they certainly have different take on the nature of Shugden.

    Best

    Shaza

  56. Shaza,

    Thanks for the benefit of the doubt : )

    I honestly don’t know which party has more or less wisdom and understanding, i don’t feel it’s something that’s necessary to judge. Personally, these lamas are my gurus and i try to rely on their wisdom, but i don’t think it’s about comparing theirs to that of the DL. I respect the DL and i’m sure he’s a very wise and compassionate being. I don’t discard the possibility the he may be an emanation of the buddha of compassion. However, it is my view that he has made a mistake regarding DS. I don’t do extensive research or anything i just try to use simple reasonings like “he has banned the practice of DS saying it is spirit worship, but i don’t think forcefully banning anything is buddhist practice in the first place.” However, this is just my personal view and i don’t claim to know the facts. My view is also not entirely that of WSS, i don’t personally hold the view, for example, that the DL is evil and cruel.

    I like the view that this whole thing could be an emanation challenging us to develop our own wisdom. The buddhas would be having a right giggle watching us running around in circles blaming each other, whilst always trusting our virtuous natures to eventually find the middle way. I don’t know, perhaps this view is a bit naive in a way, but maybe it can help ones like me to have respect and love for others, and to question the nature of reality.

    blah-blah-babble-babble oh no there’s a load of air coming out of my mouth again

  57. Hi Harry,

    “Personally, these lamas are my gurus and i try to rely on their wisdom, but i don’t think it’s about comparing theirs to that of the DL. I respect the DL ”

    Let’s assume they are all telling the truth.

    But there seems to be a discrepancy of views even between those you trust.

    Pabongkha & Trijang taught that Shugden harms those Gelugpas who “mixed” practices while GKG taught Shugden is non-sectarian and benign.

    Who would you rather believe?

    Best

    Shaza

  58. To be honest I’m not sure I believe in the concept of spirit-like ‘Dharma protectors’ existing at all. Maybe I need to seek out some Theravadins.

  59. France 24 have done a news documentary of the ban and persecution of Dorje Shugden practitioners in India, which has interesting footage and is worth watching whatever side of the debate people are on:
    http://www.france24.com/en/20080808-dalai-lama-demons-india-buddhism-dorje-shugden#

    I also think a video I saw today shows what Dorje Shugden practitioners and anyone else who opposes the Dalai Lama is up against: http://www.WisdomBuddhaDorjeShugden.blogspot.org

  60. it jus looks like more hue man beans being hue man 2 me ~ people are gonna keep on keepin on an mostly that leads two problems. if sum body kin hep you out shugden or not then yu gots to try dewin da best ya kin still knowin that no matter watt the best aint godenuff an the worst is still yet to come.

  61. Shaza talks so much superstitious and uncouth fuddle….maybe some clarification would help him/her? Tenzin also needs help with this…

    Regarding Dorje Shugden there are two ways of perceiving him – one according the ordinary appearance of ignorant people and the other is according to the appearance of a qualified practitioner.

    These two appearances came originally from the 5th Dalai Lama. First he saw Dorje Shugden as a harmful spirit and tried to destroy him (he failed). Because of this the ordinary view developed and became widespread in Tibetan society. (It is interesting in modern society how a simple and negative view is so much more popular than an enlightened view – as we see daily in the news media’s reporting generally.)

    Later the 5th Dalai Lama realized he had made a mistake, recognized Dorje Shugden as an enlightened being, composed prayers to him and engaged in the practice. In his prayers he invites Dorje Shugden to appear from the Dharmakaya. Since this time the appearance of a qualified practitioner developed and many high lamas from Sakya and Gelug traditions followed this view.

    During the time of the 13th Dalai Lama, due to political pressure from that Dalai Lama, Je Pabongkha had to publicly accept the lower view of Shugden as a worldly deity – even though his view was that Dorje Shugden is enlightened. Then (as now) Tibetan society was tightly controlled by mobilising the masses through manipulating common perceptions. Therefore, it became widely thought of that Shugden was not an enlightened deity – even though many thousands practised.

    To the majority of Tibetans Dorje Shugden appeared as a worldly spirit. Many stories and rumours developed (as now) about how Dorje Shugden would help some people and harm others – all according to the ordinary appearance of the majority of people, most of whom were very superstitious.

    Stories like these abound about other protector deities too. For example, Gyalwo Behar, Nojin Tsemar, Therang Dorlek are very popular deities in the Nyingma tradition. Many Nyingmapas engage in the practice of these deities. There are many stories of how Gyalwo Behar harmed people – even high lamas. It is said he tried to destroy Padmasambhava by throwing huge stones onto his head. Similarly with Nojin Tsemar, he also harmed people including high lamas. The 5th Dalai Lama said that he killed the Karmapa Mikyo Dorje. Nojin Tsemar is the protector deity of Samye monastery. Such kinds of stories are common in all four Tibetan traditions.

    It is said that Nechung, the main protector deity of the 13th Dalai Lama actually killed him by giving wrong medicine.

    These myths and superstitions surround all the protector deities not only Dorje Shugden.

    So naturally the question arises why is the 14th Dalai Lama banning only the practice of Dorje Shugden?

    The Western Shugden Society is continually pointing to this contradiction and asking for replies. All that we hear is profound silence from the Dalai Lama. On this subject he has nothing to say.

    It seems the only possible conclusion is that this current Dalai Lama is only interested in his own power and to that end he has destroyed the lineage given to him by his most important root teacher, Trijang Rinpoche, the Ganden Tripa of his time, spiritual head of the Gelug order. The Dalai Lama has adopted a sectarian position and broken his own guru devotion thus losing his qualification as a Dharma student (and of course teacher).

    The 14th Dalai Lama said those who practise Shugden cannot be his friends. Since Trijang Rinpoche was previously the main practitioner of Dorje Shugden then he is no longer a friend of the Dalai Lama. If this is not breaking one’s guru devotion then it will be impossible to find any examples of anybody who has ever broken their guru devotion.

    The source of all these present problems is not the superstitious stories about Dorje Shugden that we can read in Zemey Tulku’s book. These were written to accord with the understanding of ordinary people. Qualified practitioners do not believe them. But the Dalai Lama chose to believe them and organise the “witch-hunt” that we are now witnessing again. It was the Dalai Lama’s ignorant reaction that caused the problem upsetting many people and causing disharmony and fighting. Because the Dalai Lama believed these stories of course many other people believed them too – and this is where all the present problems come from.

    Originally, for about 25 years this 14th Dalai Lama perceived Dorje Shugden as enlightened and there were no problems between Buddhist practitioners about this deity. Now, because he changed his view for political reasons to that of ordinary people we have these problems, a worldwide schism never before experienced in Buddhism.

    There are endless contradictions in the view of the Dalai Lama which is why of course generally people prefer blindly to believe whatever he says. For example, if the Dalai Lama is truly the Buddha of Compassion, also known as “the most powerful one in the world”, and it is true that Dorje Shugden is a worldly deity then why can the Dalai Lama not subdue him just like Padmasambhava subdued Nechung? Why has this contradiction never been answered, for example?

    Wisdomjunkie, you and others on this blog and elsewhere need to definitely research this subject and to try to follow the wisdom advice of your kind teachers – not the ignorant advice coming from superstition, craving for political power and so on.

  62. “if the Dalai Lama is truly the Buddha of Compassion, also known as “the most powerful one in the world”, and it is true that Dorje Shugden is a worldly deity then why can the Dalai Lama not subdue him . . . ?”

    seams like it all boils down to this ~

  63. It is clear from this news article that appeared today in the Cincinnati City Beat that the WSS is not the same as the NKT:

    http://citybeat.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid:146102

    The article says: The Dalai Lama hasn’t simply discouraged honoring Dorje Shugden. Declaring the deity an evil spirit, he’s vowed to crush the tradition.

    The Tibetan Government in Exile denies identity cards to Tibetan nationals who refuse to sign oaths renouncing the deity, leaving them unable to travel, hold jobs or receive aid, according to Lisa Farnsworth, a law professor at Indiana University. Monks who hold fast to their loyalty to Dorje Shugden have been expelled from monasteries, she says, and others have been denied food or barred from participating in prayer rituals.

    “We’re talking about basic human rights — being able to eat, being able to have housing, (not) having your life threatened,” Farnsworth says. “You can talk about love and compassion all you want, but people are being hurt by the Dalai Lama’s actions.”

    The issue attracted attention earlier this summer when a crowd leaving the Dalai Lama’s lecture in New York City started heckling Dorje Shugden followers who held signs saying, “Dalai Lama, Give Us Religious Freedom.” Police officers urged the protesters to leave the scene for their own safety.

    “There were 50 police officers there who said, ‘We can’t protect you. You’ve got to get on the buses and get out of here,’ ” Farnsworth says.

    Farnsworth is a lay student at Dagom Tensung Ling Monastery in Bloomington, Ind., GSL’s “sister” monastery.

    “There was one primary reason why we established our monastery: to preserve our lineage,” Kuten Lama says. “The hardship is because (the Dalai Lama) took our religious freedom, our human rights. But it is very hard for us ordinary persons to explain to the world because he is so powerful and famous and our words are not too important.”

  64. Whether Dorje Shugden is a spirit or a Buddha is not the point…. we’ll probably never all agree on that. But whether discrimination against others based on religious belief is correct or incorrect… well, I don’t see why we cannot all agree on that.

    So, is there discrimination taking place?

    If there is, that is wrong. If there is not, then there is no problem.

  65. I suppose it boils down to defining what discrimination is based on. If there is an evil spirit roaming around then discrimination is justified by those who see it that way.

    So it seems this whole mess (aka debate?) ends up turning on weather or knot sum won seas an evil that must be opposed or sum thin else eh?

  66. Shugdenpa you said…

    “Regarding Dorje Shugden there are two ways of perceiving him – one according the ordinary appearance of ignorant people and the other is according to the appearance of a qualified practitioner”.

    “Wisdomjunkie, you and others on this blog and elsewhere need to definitely research this subject and to try to follow the wisdom advice of your kind teachers – not the ignorant advice coming from superstition, craving for political power and so on”.

    This is more like it……

    This is the stuff that runs through Tibetan Buddhism and all religions throughout history. Basically all the follows are stupid, you need to follow the advice of a qualified practitioner, your opinions are unreliable and all you need is to believe …………. ‘so follow me’.

    Precisely the fuel needed to play superstitious games and the craving of political power you talk about.

    Priceless.

    I remember the advice of Buddha, the teachings the great spiritual masters supposed to represent.

    ‘Investigate the teachings and not the qualities of the teacher’ .. not a quote but the essence of the advice I think.

    How Shugden supporters wish Zemeney Rinpoche had not written the Yellow book. Never mind – they pass if off as superstition – not to be taken seriously. Yet this sectarian lineage demands total Guru devotion – the Guru is always right and he can’t be questioned. So why did Trijang Rinpoche order so many copies for his library. Was it the Tibetan equivalent to ‘Hello’ magazine. Sorry but you can’t have it both ways.

    Also how can anyone in the NKT follow the advice of their realized teachers – there is only one.

  67. What an uneducated person you are “hkphoey”. ….

    The NKT has many, many, teachers from Je Tsongkhapa’s pure Ganden tradition. We are extraordinarily rich in Dharma teachings. For example, I follow Ven Geshe Kelsang as my root teacher.

    However, I had also many other qualified teachers, many of them now passed away (or under political pressure), such as Lama Yeshe, Lama Zopa, Geshe Rabten, Geshe Tekchog, HH Zong Rinpoche, Jamyang Rinpoche, Geshe Sopa, Geshe Dargey, Geshe Tenzin, and others….all of them sincerely practising Dorje Shugden as given to them by Trijang Dorjechang, Head of the Gelugpas and the most important teacher (his words) of the Dalai Lama. Now there are many qualified Western teachers appearing in the NKT through their kindness. We will never forget this kindness and will always work to give liberating Dharma to the living beings of this world wherever they live. These teachers were the mainstay of the Gelugpas; they protected and preserved Je Tsongkhapa’s lineage for future generations.

    Previously I also included the Dalai Lama as one of my teachers but then found that he had – without any doubt – broken his own guru devotion and so how could I trust him? Sadly I had to let him go realizing his main interests were not spreading Dharma but preserving his own power base in samsara – so, so sad. Heartbreaking to see what he has done to himself and now also to so many other people, breaking their commitments to their root teachers due to political pressure. Such a promising start in the 1950’s as a spiritual leader but now exposed as sectarian and without compassion.

    Yes, “hkphoey” you need to become better informed. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to clarify.

    BB Ghali…if the Dalai Lama is truly good and the Buddha of Compassion why can he not simply subdue Shugden just like Padmasambhava subdued Nechung? What is your reply please?

  68. well sum won sed sum wears that maybe we could have it both ways = Wrathful and Ridiculous ~ which would purty much cover the waterfront on this one eh?

    or house about dis ? = they used to say seeing is believing but ainit really the udder way around ?

  69. life is but a dream ~ so maybe we just all arg hewing around whoz got the real dream ? well for the really real dream maybe check out suma the links above around #72 etc ? sweet dreams ~ or maybe sweat dreams = eyether way we gots a lotta heavy dreamin to do eh ?

  70. Golly ~ we still lub ya – itz jus that thingz are getting kinda soggy watt wit all dese leaky pontoons floatin around. we b sinkin soon me thinks

    better start rowin that boat a little faster but we b headin for the falls eye ther way

  71. check it ~ all yer actions is gonna half effect similyar to the cawz. thatz un A voidable. BuTT ya kin affect all dat by tunin yer motivation kawz itz all M T.

  72. well ya kood seyit dat way butt eye wooden.

    House about dis:::::::::::::::::::

    if ya can’t beatem joinem unless of coorz yer beatin em ~ then keep on beatinit baby cuz we’re almost two the pure land ! ! ! !

  73. 101 is a nice number ~ if father and mother are our link to real alley tea then we’re all red eye down the path aways n e wayz eh?

  74. “no one ever said stripping away every illusion wouldn’t be painful.”

    yup eye never heard that one neither except for the merrily merrily part

  75. sew perhaps the really real sticky point is up in my grill eh ? aint we tawking about crossin the line here ? and whose line is it n e wayz ?

  76. Hello LB and others, i’ve been following this blog for a few days and it has some good posts on it, thanks. Plus, a nice tone, thanks again!

    I suppose my point would be who cares what non-Shugden practitioners think of Dorje Shugden? Not everyone gets a kick out of the Catholic saints, but those who have faith in them know in their own hearts and experience that they are helpful. We have different karma that leads us to faith in different teachings and beings. It is not right to try and stop others’ belief and faith, even if we don’t like it.

    I don’t agree with Shaza’s position at all because he/she is claiming a full monopoly on the truth. Minorities need to be protected because everyone is different. There are a lot of Shugden practitioners, but even if there was only one, that person should still have a right to worship.

    As for the WSS demonstrating, i’m not sure why they get all the flak. After all, they are not the ones doing the persecuting. I believe that although in the short term some people may be horrified that they are standing up to the Dalai Lama, in the long term they may be more sympathetic and see that they had no other realistic choice.

    LB, your idea that they do quiet prayers is what was tried in the 1990s, and it still got the NKT a whole bunch of bad press plus the ban was not lifted. It seems reasonable for the WSS now to try louder tactics — and not only that, but the expulsion of a thousand monks from the monasteries has put the problem in a whole new ballpark. It is still the case that no request for dialog has ever been met in over ten years, so either Shugden supporters roll over and play dead (and plenty are!) or they stand up and say what is on their mind (at the risk of having all those bad things said about them).

    Anyway, I know all this has probably been said before so apologies for being repetitive. Selfishly, I kinda wish the Dalai Lama would lift the ban so we could go back to blogging about other things. (Still, there is no reason why we cannot all continue to practice dharma throughout this whole process and I haven’t found my mind becoming any more unpeaceful than usual, so that is something.)

  77. eatz ratfull AND ridik you less – sea? oars are for gently down the stream ~ drill baby drill ~ we kud end the engery krisez, rebuilt hour info structure and retire in Costa Rica wit all da Shugden energy thatz bean generated.

    Itz bean said before an personally eye d-lite in tellin it again. “If anybodyz gonna best a buddha then watts that sayin about the bester and the bested?” ™

    karmic Simulacrum will never getchya to the Pure Land but it kood getz ya a one way ticket to the Poor House. ding dong

    itz all relatives and they all drives ya crazy every once in awhile dont they? ~ btw has anybody noticed the Chrispmess dekerashuns sneekin into the stores be4 we even carved the pumpkin ? (personally I like my pumpkinz carverd unevenly)

    noW thatZ ratfull AND ridiklelous eyeD seY = bye now pay later

  78. Hi, We are feared and worshipped by the Greeks , our names Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Hera, Aris,Athena, Apollo,Aphrodite,Hermes, Artemis, Hepthaetus, following events not within our controls although we are gods, we are banned. Our mistakes is we did not fight back hard enough.
    The gods all sighed: If humans stop believing in us, we ease to exist.
    Many gods, God, Devil ,Enlightenment ,please do not ban any of these, cause humans need them for myth sake, no myth no virtual reality. But also to pay the price for the myths.

  79. CK, according to Buddhism, there are existents and non-existents. Buddhas exist whereas, for example, square circles do not. Yet both existents and non-existents are equally empty, mere imputations of conceptual thought.

    In a way, everything is virtual reality. The difference between an existent and a non-existent is only whether it can perform the function it is designated to perform. e.g. a person may mistake a striped rope for a snake. Both the striped rope and the snake are mere projection of mind, but a snake can perform the function of a snake whereas a striped rope cannot.

    All this I suppose is a technical way of saying that in Buddhism we try not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. We believe in conventional or relative truths. Gods and enlightenment are not non-existent, even if they are projections of mind and mere label — and they do perform a function.

  80. Jimmy, existents and non-existents of the MP school, good for getting a Phd or not. Snake ,rope or mistaken somebody to be your uncle at a distance is a universal experience if you care to be aware of it.
    All we know about this world from our senses , concepts and empty words passed down from others ,langauge (intimately culture based), humans as a specie is endowed with the ability to know it is alive through language, memory and what being told by others.
    The body does not know it is alive or dead, something gain from learning through langauge. Animal forget their anger, its anger is the response of reality it is facing, after that it will revert to previous state. Human anger lingers on, due to ‘understanding’ rational thinking to keep the anger going on after the event. It is often argued that human has consciousness while animal has none. Consider that ‘ consciousness’ is a human construct, castle in the air.
    Humans can have altered states through meditation, drug abuse, unusual brain chemisty inbalance, a trip is a trip no matter which stuff.

  81. I guess a trip is a trip, but some trips take you beyond illusion and thus to a state of permanent peace — others just mess with your head and make you more confused!

  82. Permanent peace is the figment of the mind. Liberation, nirvana, eternal bliss without a bit of unhappiness, suffering , fantasy to the extreme imagination. Plenty of snake oil peddlers of different robes calling out their mythical teachings to the unwary. Animals do not care of afterlife, human in its capacity to think , rationalised absurd metaphysic invented such thing as life after death.
    The 4 noble truths and 8 fold paths all is needed , the rest is commmentary, elaborations towards the fantasy, minefield for the unwary, people with uncritical atttitude falling for the forms (ritual and robes), charismatic characters and so forth.
    You want to touch life the first time, throw away all your baggages, your cultural upbringings, things you pick up from others, you would not like it , no more looking at chic ( this case no looking at all) , looking at chic is not part of you, it is a learn habit.
    Any trip still mess up your head , relatively speaking? Continue to meditate, find your common sense, your God ,your intuitive sense
    Lest anybody get offense , i am just barking.

  83. woof ~ relative tripping is really messen up my hed = not sure about the chic part tho ~ jesus is always lookin like his fine ole funky self in dem robes – and that halo = OY !

    actually eyev tryed snake oil an itz purty good stuff ! 4 x ternal use only. I think eye kin smell the pure land from here ~ rub a dub dub baby

  84. snake oil works, great. Does it gives you love and respect? Keen sense of smell indeed , pure land. Of course keen sense of touch of rub a dubdub. enjoy.
    oh jesus , did he not tell us to love each other, treat your neighbour as your uncle, aunty, brother and sister, very common sense , no serfs or slaves.

  85. whale eats bin a while an that banana is hard as a rock now ~ way past the slimy part = everything petrifies in the end eh and thatz not jus cumin outta my arse.

    it was a phun ride that eye just had2 re visit. sew seams like the only corn clue shun is that wee real eye dunt half a clue eh?

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